World economic growth will lead to strong energy demands and consumption. U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest International Energy Outlook 2017 (IEO2017) projects that world energy consumption will grow by 28% between 2015 and 2040. Most of this growth is expected to come from countries that are not in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and especially in countries where demand is driven by strong economic growth, particularly in Asia. Non-OECD Asia (which includes China and India) accounts for more than 60% of the world’s total increase in energy consumption from 2015 through 2040.
Fossil-based fuels are just the remains of photosynthetic activity that once took place on the earth’s surface over hundreds of millions of years — when plants converted solar energy and carbon dioxide into biomass. The foremost shortcoming of using petroleum-based fuel is atmospheric pollution as it is a major source of air contaminants including NOx, SOx, COs, particulate matter and volatile organic compounds. Hence, we are beginning to observe several adverse affects of this build up including global warming and increased incidences of asthma and pulmonary disorders. It is obvious that, since we are burning fuels at a pace far exceeding that of their creation, we will eventually exhaust them. By most estimates we have 50-100 years’ worth of oil and gas left under the earth’s surface. The search for renewable fuels is thus well motivated.
The rising oil prices also tend to turn the energy consumers to more energy-efficient technologies and switch away from liquid fuels where possible. Renewables are expected to be the fastest-growing energy source, with consumption increasing by an average 2.3% per year between 2015 and 2040. Even though IEO2017 expects the nonfossil fuels (renewables and nuclear) to grow faster than fossil fuels, fossil fuels still account for more than three-quarters of world energy consumption through 2040.
Solar energy is the most abundant renewable resource available, and photosynthesis is a great template for how this energy can be converted into chemical energy (which is the energy stored in the chemical bonds connecting atoms together in matter). One way to capture this solar energy is biofuels. Biofuels are fuels, which are chemically similar to gasoline and diesel, but are produced by processing crops, algae or microbial culture. The carbon in biofuels comes from carbon dioxide that plants convert to their biomass through photosynthesis.
Biofuels are regarded as promising alternative to satisfy growing energy demands. Biomass derived biodiesel and bioethanol can be successfully utilized in modem vehicle engines with little or no modifications and thus contribute to lower combustion emissions in comparison to the former. Automobile engines can burn gasoline blended with 5%–10% bioethanol with little or no modifications. Biodiesel with lower blends of 2% and 5% in diesel fuel has been found to run successfully in both existing and newer diesel engines without modification and even blends with up to 20% biodiesel can be used.
Generally, biofuels are classified into three or four generations, based on the source of raw materials. First-generation (1G) biofuels are extracted from edible feedstocks. Second-generation (2G) biofuels are produced from non-edible feedstocks, and agricultural residue, the latter being obtained from edible feedstocks. Agricultural residues can be rice straw, rice husk, sugarcane bagasse, etc. Third-generation (3G) ones involve sources that do not compete for land, such as microalgae, waste animal fat, and waste cooking oil. Fourth-generation (4G) biofuels consist of solar fuels and electro-fuels.
Primary sources of biofuels include soybean, corn, forestry, agricultural crops, also the waste from food services as well as ago industries. These fuels are available in solid, liquid, or gaseous forms and are chiefly used in various end use applications counting generation of energy, transportation fuels, lubrication & greasing, cooking purposes, charging of electronics and others.
Bioethanol can be produced from sugar-based materials such as sugarcane, beet, molasses, starch-based feedstock like corn, wheat, potato, and cellulosic-based feedstock such as rice straw, bagasse. The steps for producing bioethanol typically involve extracting the sugar from the raw materials, fermenting the sugar into bioethanol, and then running a distillation process to purify the bioethanol
Bioethanol and biodiesel are the two most popular biofuels that are being used as substitutes for regular gasoline and diesel. Some of the commercially used biofuels are biomethane, bioethanol, and biodiesel where in biomethane is manufactured by using domestic and agricultural wastes, bioethanol is produced from sugar beet, wheat, and algae. Further, biodiesels are manufactured using animal fats, algae lipids and vegetable oils.
Biodiesel can generally be obtained from both edible and non-edible oils such as corn, palm, soybean, sunflower, castor and also animal fats and chicken skin, and waste cooking oil. Microemulsion, thermal cracking, and transesterification are the commonly used processes for producing biodiesel
For example, Brazil, being one of the leaders in biofuels, provides a unique setting to increase the knowledge about biofuel policy and the interactions within and between the gasoline and ethanol markets. Policy in Brazil includes a mixture of 27% ethanol and 10% biodiesel by volume, and 100% hydrous ethanol is marketed in all gas stations in the country. In China, four biofuel standards have been set up since 2001: the Denatured Fuel Ethanol (GB, 18350) and Ethanol Gasoline for Motor Vehicles (GB, 18351) both initiated in 2001, Biodiesel Blend Stock (GBT,20828) initiated in 2007, and Biodiesel Fuel Blend (GBT 25199) initiated in 2010.
Production of biofuel is drawing sound attention all over the world and its global production is over 35 billion litres . In 2009 Europe decided in its Renewable Energy Directive (RED) that every member state should have at least 10% renewable energy in transport fuel by 2020. Subsequent ‘national renewable energy action plans’ (NREAPS) suggested that almost all (9.4%) of this renewable energy in 2020 would consist of biofuels.
As of 2019, USA and Brazil produce close to 62% of global biofuel with 697,000 barrels of oil equivalent and 444,000 barrels of oil equivalent, respectively (BP, 2020). The USA primarily produces bioethanol from corn (starch-based) while Brazil mainly relies on sugarcane (sugar-based). Global biodiesel production stood at 699,000 barrels of oil equivalent in 2019 and is predicted to reach 41.4 billion litres by 2025. Among Asian countries, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand produced the highest amounts of biodiesel with palm oil being the leading feedstock. Besides being a renewable resource with lower greenhouse gas emissions, biofuels are also cleaner in the sense that they produce less particulate matter after burning.
Adequate production not only serves as long term replacement of fossil fuels, but it also offers novel opportunities to diversify income and fuel supply sources, promotes rural employment and notably helps in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The global biofuels market was valued at USD 2,675.00 million in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 4,596.15 million by 2029, registering a CAGR of 7.00% during the forecast period of 2022-2029.
Growing demand for biofuel as environment-friendly fuel in the road transportation is major factor driving growth of the global biofuels market. Moreover, the benefits or advantages offered by the biofuels including least impact on the environment due to its clean and harmless nature, abundant availability with mandates are anticipated to propel growth of the global biofuel industry in the near future especially in the developing economies. Furthermore, energy sources among individuals worldwide, along with increasing government support for the production and research activities of biofuels across the globe are among major factors to fuel growth of the target industry in the next few years. Additionally, changing lifestyle and increasing focus on using high percentage biofuel blends are propelling in the global industry growth.
The favorable initiatives by government associated with environmental regulations to increase demand for bio-source based energy resources, will further extend profitable opportunities to the market players in the forecast period of 2022 to 2029. The European Commission and other federal government agencies create new laws and regulations, such as the Eco-product Certification Scheme (E.C.S.). These regulations guarantee low or no harmful emissions and a green and sustainable environment. To produce more environmentally friendly fuels, these regulations incentivize coatings companies to invest in bio-based sources for fuels. Government regulations in the U.S. and Western Europe, especially those pertaining to air pollution, will continue to support cutting-edge, low-pollution coating technology.
Most of the developed as well as emerging economies worldwide are focusing on the production of biofuels in order to lessen dependability on fossil fuels is another factor which is expected to augment growth of the target industry over the forecast period 2021-2030.
This is mainly attributed to copious availability of bioethanol, biodiesel in significant regions across the globe. According to data published by the International Energy Agency, worldwide share of biofuel in the total transport fuel would raise up to 27% by 2050. For instance, as per the data published in 2018 by Renewable Energy Directive, the complete European Union board for renewable energy sources feasting by 2030 has been elevated up to 32%.
The fluctuations in oil prices are the major challenge to the global biofuels market growth. Biofuels face direct competition from conventional fossil fuels. The global oil and gas industry is highly dependent on crude oil prices. Crude oil prices have witnessed several highs and lows in the recent past. Also, the crude oil price cycle has not exhibited a consistent trend over the past few years. This indicates the volatile nature of the global crude oil market. The whole petroleum industry has witnessed a decline in growth owing to frequent fluctuations in crude oil prices. This, in turn, can affect the alternative fuels market, which is still at a growing stage with a relatively low share in global fuel consumption. Thus, crude oil and natural gas prices are very volatile and can shift in any direction at any time with high levels of uncertainty. Therefore, the volatility in crude oil prices remains a threat to the global biofuels market.
- Fluctuations in raw material prices
The inconsistent raw material prices have a direct negative impact on the overall market’s growth. The rising prices of biofuels have resulted in decreased demands across major sectors. As a result, these fluctuations will pose a major challenge to the biofuels market growth rate.
Third-generation biofuels are derived from algae that offer numerous advantages over other sources of biofuels. Algae have the ability to produce diverse and better quantity biofuels when compared with other feedstocks. Biodiesel, butanol, gasoline, methane, ethanol, vegetable oil, and jet fuels are the fuels that can be derived from algae. Algae fuels also provide a greater yield and can produce more than ten times the fuel per acre of land when compared with traditional fuels. Micro-algae are becoming popular choices for biofuel production owing to their high lipid content and ease of cultivation. The development of third-generation fuels has led to the diversification of feedstock options, a shift from conventional food-related feedstocks, and improved performance of biofuels using advanced technology.
North America dominates the market in terms of market share and market revenue and will continue to flourish its dominance during the forecast period of 2022-2029. In 2020, North America dominated the global market with a market share of more than 36%. U.S. represented the highest share in the North American region primarily due to availability of abundant feedstock for the production of biofuels, along with the favorable government policies for the biofuel production in the region. Further increasing awareness regarding usage of renewable biofuels is another factor to contribute the high market share of the United States over the forecast period. The market growth in this region is attributed to the increasing supportive policies extended by the government, such as tax incentives provided by the government, along with the increasingly robust policies for encouraging production and consumption within the region.
Asia-Pacific, on the other hand, is estimated to show lucrative growth over the forecast period of 2022-2029 due to the rapid economic development and rising research and development activities within the region. 25% of the market’s growth will originate from APAC during the forecast period. China and India are the key markets for the biofuels market in APAC. Market growth in this region will be faster than the growth of the market in other regions.
Further Europe was the second important market in the biofuel. The growth of the biofuel industry in the countries of the Europe is attributed to growing adoption of the biofuels in the road transportation applications. Further, supporting policies for the use of biofuels by the European government in the European region is also expected to boost the demand for biofuels market in the near future.
Asia Pacific is anticipated to grow at the maximum CAGR of around 8.5% in the forecast period due increasing implementation and focus on the government regulations in account to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions in the countries of the region especially in India, China and Japan of the region. Latin America and the African and Middle Eastern region will display noticeable growth over the forecast period.
The major companies functioning in the worldwide biofuels are Abengoa Bioenergy S.A., Biofuels Digest. (U.S.), Neste Niederlande B.V. (Netherlands), Infinita Biotech Private Limited. (France), Gruppo Marseglia (Italy), Glencore (Switzerland), Louis Dreyfus Company (Netherlands), Chevron (U.S.), R.B. Fuels (U.S.), Ag Processing Inc. (U.S.), Elevance Health. (U.S.), Marathon Petroleum Corporation (U.S.), Evergreen Biofuels Holding Sdn Bhd (U.S.), Minnesota Soybean Processors (U.S.), CropEnergies AG (Germany), E.N.F. Ltd. (U.K.), VERBIO Vereinigte BioEnergie, DowDuPont, Inc. Archer Daniels Midland Company, BTG International Ltd, Renewable Energy Group, Inc., Wilmar International Ltd, POET LLC, Cargill, My Eco Energy, China Clean Energy Inc. among others.
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